Sunday, September 11, 2011

Issue 173 Sheep Dog Championship by Whitney

Every year Soldier Hollow host a sheepdog trial competition. Specially invited world-class sheep dog herders from across the globe attend as they compete against each other to win medals and advance to the National Border Collie Association's World Championship. This year we attended and watched several pairs go at it. Racing against a twenty-four minute timer the handlers remain stationary as he or she directs their canine counterpart with whistles, directing them across the hillside. They must first retrieve two separate herds of sheep, directing them between two posts. Then the full herd is maneuvered across the hill and through two separate gates to finish in a marked circle. Then the handler, using a shepherds crook without actually coming in contact with the sheep, works with the collie to separate out five of the sheep that are wearing red collars. This is much harder than it sounds due to the herding behavior that keep the sheep almost inseparable. Assuming the timer hasn't already expired, the pair then direct the five collared sheep into a small pen on the other side of the hill, while preventing them from rejoining the remaining herd of thirteen standing by. Without the gate touching any of the sheep, the door is closed by the lucky shepard and the crowd cheers. The judges tally their scores while the exhausted and overheated collie plunges into the provided tub of water.
Along with the omnipresent bagpipers, camera crews filming a documentary entitled "Away to me" added to the atmosphere as the giraffe necked camera swiveled around to keep up with the contestants. Other exhibitors including the Salt Lake counties' K9 unit also presented classes and demonstrations. It was a fun-filled day of enjoyment that I would recommend to everyone.

The Silver Beaver

Saturday we had the chance to see Steve's Dad receive the prestigious Boy Scouts of America Silver Beaver award. It is a high honor in scouting that recognized a life full of outstanding service in scouting. Andy came straight from a scout camp where he was training other leaders, which just goes to show his dedication. We are proud of you Grandpa!

Knight's Summit

Knights of Freedom is a club, like scouts, where there are a ton of groups and each group meets together every other week to learn about famous men in history like Christopher Columbus, Davy Crockett and a ton of other people. In Knights of Freedom we also learn about the knightly virtues and once every year all of the groups come together for two days and we get swords and shields. We learn 5 knightly virtues. Things like learning to work as a team, earn a weapon, prove yourself in battle, go on a quest and other stuff. At the end we fought a lot of bad guys. My favorite thing about the summit was the big battle at the end.